Friday, 10 January 2014

Wild Plum Jam

We have a weedy Plum tree that grows in our backyard. The sort that started when a bird dropped a seed. It's in a really awkward spot and we prune/chop it down most years, but still it grows. 

If it was a delicious plum tree I would celebrate it but it is the sort that are a little sweet and a whole lot of sour. This kids eat a few and the birds do to but more than anything there is just a lot of rotting squishy fruit to clean up.

All of a sudden, this year within a fortnight, three people had said "they make great jam!".

So we decided to pick a few of them (4kg made a small dent) and tried our hand at some jam making. I am not very good at jam making, so I need all the practice I can get.

We found a recipie at TheKtchn and made it Australian and bigger!

Wild Plum Jam
Made 10 pasta sauce jars
4 kgs whole wild plums
1 cup water
2 tablespoon lemon juice
10 cups granulated sugar
2 package fruit pectin

Discard the plum pits, but leave the skin on, and finely chop the fruit (or if pitting is too difficult, throw the plums into the pot whole). Simmer the plums and water in a stainless steel pot over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. (If fruit still has pits, let the mixture cool slightly and pull out the pits using two slotted spoons. Try to keep as much of the fruit as possible. Discard pits.)
Add the sugar and bring the mixture to a full, rolling boiling over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in the pectin then return to full boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove the pot from the heat. Set aside 1 minute and using the edge of a large metal spoon, skim off any foam from the surface. To test to see if the mixture is set, put a metal tablespoon in a glass of ice water for a minute. Use it to scoop out a spoonful of the hot mixture. Let it cool slightly then check the consistency. If it isn't set enough, boil it another minute.

Meanwhile, sterilize the jars, lids and bands. Keep the pot with the boiling water on the stove 
top. Ladle the jam into the sterilized jars, leaving 1/8-inch head room at the top. Wipe the rims and threads of the jars clean and seal with lids and bands. Lower the sealed jars back into the boiling water bath. Process jars in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove jars, label, and store in cool, dry place.

Me, being me... I loved squishing the stones out of the plums. We made it a whole family affair but our hands went a little 'tanned' after. I also ended up sieving out the skins. I waited until it was really well cooked and all the fruit had come off them. I just found that with these plums there were too many skins. Other than that it is great.The kids love the novelty of having jam in the house (we aren't big jam eaters) and I feel a batch of scones coming on!

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